ACT Wildlife Annual General Meeting

The ACT Wildlife AGM is open to attendance by all members, financial and non-financial. Only financial members are eligible to vote.

Contact the Committee Secretary, Laura Ellis, for all AGM matters – or personal mobile 0410 922 221.

Please confirm intention to attend, or provide an apology, by Friday 1 March 2024 to support reaching a quorum, and for catering numbers. If you would like to assist on the day, such as baking a cake or adding to the afternoon tea, please inform the Secretary. 

Notice of ACTW Annual General Meeting

  • Day: Sunday 17 March 2024
  • Time: 14:00-16:00 / 2:00 to 4:00pm
  • Location: 701 Cotter Road DUFFY ACT

For items to be included in the AGM 2024 Agenda, send a request by 04 March to the Secretary for Committee consideration.

Committee nominations are accepted up to 16 March 24. Nominated member’s name and short bio will be added to this page biweekly from 25 February to 15 March 2024. Send completed forms to the Secretary mailbox.

Voting at the AGM is for financial members only. To check your membership status, visit Membership Renewal 2024 or contact the Membership Coordinator, Martin, by emailing Please share this with anyone you know is unsure of their voting eligibility.

Direct requests for accessibility, accommodations, or dietary needs are required to the Secretary via email or phone by 10 March.

Contact details for Laura, Committee Secretary are
email: or
personal mobile 0410 922 221.

Committee Nominations

Nominees received as at 11 March 24, next update 15 March 2024.

Position – President

Yana del Valle
Short Biography

I’ve been passionate about animals since I was approx. 4yrs old. I hounded my parents for a dog from around 6yrs of age, until they finally caved in when I was 9yrs and brought home our family black Labrador from the Yagoona RSPCA. I become involved with the care of native animals when I joined WIRES in 1984 until moving to Canberra in 1995. The day my husband and I arrive in Canberra, I immediately joined the Wildlife Foundation (former ACT Wildlife equv.), until it merged with RSPCA ACT in approx. 1998.

From 1999, I did not belong to a wildlife organisation as such, however I continuously rescued and transported animals (both wild and domestic) in NSW and ACT whenever the situation arose. Unfortunately, my professional life during this time did not allow me to focus on anything much except eating, sleeping a little, and working. My professional career has been in Project Management and Business Process Re-engineering (Consultant since 2000-2019). I hold both Bachelor and Post Graduate qualifications. I have now transitioned into Architectural Residential Design and am a Partner with a small private business in Canberra serving the Canberra community which encourages reuse of inner urban property and is against urban sprawl.

The loss of our sanctuary in NSW to the 1999-2020 Black Summer fires stirred the flames inside me, and once again into the coalface of animal rescue – literally. With my husband, as volunteer rural firefighters, we rescued hundreds of animals, established membership of Land for Wildlife in NSW as well as the Wildlife Land Trust for our south coast property in NSW. In 2020, we also successfully secured (for perpetuity) acreage in far north Queensland which is now reserved for the endangered Proserpine Rock Wallaby.

I am on the Board of Animal Defenders Office (2014-2020; 2022-current) and was formerly on the Committee of ACT Rescue and Foster (2020 and 2021). Both experiences have provided me with knowledge of legislation and issues surrounding wild, domestic and farmed animals. From 2019 to 2022, I was also the ACT Convenor (aka President) of the Animal Justice Party ACT branch and developed the campaign as well as ran as a Candidate for the 2020 Territory and 2022 Federal elections. I have been on the ACT Wildlife Committee since 2022.

Why would you like to be a committee member?

During my current presidency I have made amendments to our Wildlife License to ensure our carers are legally able to collect browser from all Crown land including Nature Reserves, requested the Conservator (Flora and Fauna) to protect old native trees in Ried which were being felled where evidence of nest parrots were present, rescued and release numerous animals, assist on phones and coordinator and staff events. All these activities, some which are ongoing, have given me the knowledge to provide leadership and support to the organisation.

I believe there a still some outstanding activities which I’d like the opportunity to complete but would need at least another 12mths to do so. Many activities are in governance and trying to secure
long-term funding for the organisation, so strategically we can evolve more efficiently and mature in our systems and processes.

I am currently planning my retirement over the next three years and have only recently dropped my work hours to 40hr/wk.  Previously I was working approx. 60hrs/wk. This has allowed me to spend more time on tasks and engaging with ACTW members and stakeholders. I would ideally like to become a full-time (all the time) carer for both wildlife and/or abandoned domestic animals in the very near future.

Karen Kuttner
Short biography

I have been a member of ACT Wildlife for the past 2 years and do both rescues and bird caring. Previous to moving to Canberra I volunteered for 10 years with Wildlife Victoria and Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary in their veterinary area and in the large flight aviary.

My background is medical administration in a large inner city hospital and medical school campus with an emphasis on change management, streamlining and centralising processes
to facilitate both better patient outcomes, time and fiscally sound financial management. I have Board level experience both in the private and volunteer sectors.

Why would you like to be a committee member?

My vision for ACT Wildlife is to offer volunteers much needed support and to consolidate carer activities, as presently carers are often stretched way beyond capacity which does not lead to best outcomes. We have lost/are losing 3 of our most experienced and skilled bird carers and there are no replacements coming down the line. Training for experience at this level cannot be delivered at a one-day session – it takes lots of hands on experience to get to high level capability. I would like to work towards future proofing the organisation with a process that offers an avenue to all carers to upskill with hands-on experience so they have the opportunity to be their most confident and competent selves.

Position – Vice President

Brett Davis
Short biography

Brett is a 26 year ICT Cyber Security Professional who is currently working within the Australian Defence Force’s new ‘War Fighting Network’ program.

Brett has been an active ACTW.Carer since 2019, where he has cared for more than 260 animals, with most of them being Brushtail possums and birds.

He has specialised in rescuing and caring for Brushtail possums with the very painful ‘Stress Dermatitis’ (i.e. Staphylococcus Aureus). Over the past 12 months, he has created ‘A Guidefor Treating Brushtail Possum Exudative ‘Stress’ Dermatitis’ document with assistance from a Canberra vet. He recently presented this document to the ACTW Committee for possible adoption by the Committee and the Canberra veterinarian community as a whole for the standard medical plan for treating this Staph infection. He also has hopes this treatment plan will be adopted nationwide to treat this very painful infection.

Furthermore, Brett has performed many very late night, very upsetting and very difficult animal rescues over this 5 year period.

Why would you like to be a committee member?

From the above mentioned 5 year experience with ACTW, I would like to address the following areas with the Committee’s support:

  • Retain new Carer’s by initiating a true ‘Buddy’ system, along with a ‘Carer’s Career Path’ (i.e. Similar to a professional Career Path) where a plan is created for each carer that details the animals they would like to care for and the accompanying training to achieve it, with 3 monthly Buddy Check-ups.
  • Another initiative to keep carers will be to arrange for all the Animal Coordinators to have monthly MS Teams or Zoom teleconferences with their team of carers, to discuss any current issues or just to make them feel valued.
  • In addition, introduce a system where at least one Animal Coordinator per animal species is available for carer telephone support 24/7.
  • Implement an ACTW in-house Emotional Caring one-on-one’s coffee sessions with your Buddy. Being a first rescue responder, you can experience some very ugly scenes or have to euthanize an animal that you have tried so hard to save. These situations can really emotionally hurt, even as a seasoned hardened male carer.
  • Standardise the animal rescue alerting
  • Update the ACTW ICT infrastructure (but not the animal database) and make it more secure.
  • Rather than working in a silo and treating the other 240+ Animal Caring Animal NGO’s from around the country as the opposition, I’d like to start a program to reach out to as many as possible to create a larger animal caring knowledgebase. For example, the reporting and recommended treatment for new or unmanageable animal infections, such as Bird Beak-n-Feather/Wasting Disease, the Brushtail Possum Wobbly disease or the new Buruli Ulcer (Staph), which humans can catch off the infected possums.
Adam Coppard
Short biography

I have been involved with ACTW for three years now and the thing that stands out for me is the willingness of people to help members improve on their knowledge and skills to be even better volunteers assisting the fauna in the ACT.

It is this support from all people I come into contact that has encouraged me to actively participate in this organisation. Since becoming a member I have taken on a variety of roles. These include Aviary Coordinator, Rescue Coordinator and Training Coordinator. When I first started with the group I could see a need for new volunteers involved in rescue to get some first-hand experience implementing the ‘ride along’ programme and as a result of this I developed a new course on Rescue and Transport which also includes a manual consolidating information on rescue techniques for the variety of fauna here in the ACT. I also put into practice what I say volunteering regularly for rescues.

As the Training Coordinator I have been able to utilise the skills I developed as a teacher. I run Orientation and the Transport/Rescue training courses. Also have introduced new training opportunities coordinating with WIRES and Wildcare to offer more opportunities for our members.

I feel I am now one of those people that volunteers will approach seeking further understandings of the animals and functions of ACTW.  A full circle. In addition I have assisted in a variety of tasks for the benefit of the group. From weeding, whipper snipping, tidying up at the premises of Duffy and Jerrabomberra.

Why would you like to be a committee member?

I joined the committee 2022 and in that two years I may have missed only one meeting. If I start something I stick to it. You can be guaranteed that will be the case if I am chosen to be the Vice President.

Skills that I possess

  • Communication skills – both oral and written
  • WHS skills (I contributed to the manual soon to be released)
  • Empathy
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Investigative skills

To state a few.

Things I would like to achieve as Vice President

  • Consolidate the changes made over the last couple of years I have been on the Committee.
  • Speed up the process for complaints.
  • Ensure there is transparency from the committee on the tasks we are undertaking.
  • Be a conduit from the general membership to the committee.
  • Visit people from within the membership and ask how they are ‘travelling’ and note any recommendations they may have.
  • Push for a ‘Volunteer Coordinator’ someone who can assist all volunteers in maintaining involvement and proudly promote our organisation.

Position – Treasurer

Mark Jenkin
Short biography

I have been a member of ACT Wildlife for four years having retired from being a full-time senior executive in the Australian Public Service.  Post retirement I have been able to take on a number of volunteer roles with ACT Wildlife: rescue/transporter, turtle carer, reptile coordinator, committee member and treasurer.  I also volunteer with two other ACT-based charities, including as a board member and treasurer,  as well as sit on the audit and risk committees of two Commonwealth agencies.

In my extensive public service career I worked in a couple of very large departments in a range of management, service delivery, policy and finance roles, including as CFO.

My professional background and experience serves me well in meeting the challenges of the treasurer role. I have a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, a Master of Financial Management, I am a qualified Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow Certified Practising Accountant.  On retiring I also completed a Cert II in Animal Studies at CIT to help give me a perspective on a new area of interest for me.

Why would you like to be a committee member?

I wish to continue to contribute to ACT Wildlife in ways that effectively use my skills and experience. One of those ways is as Treasurer of the organisation, a job that is demanding in both time and knowledge. As we grow and mature as an organisation our governance and business skills on the committee also need to grow to meet the expectations of all our stakeholders.

Position – Secretary

Placeholder - No Nominations
Short biography


Why would you like to be a committee member?


Position – Committee Member

Lindy Butcher
Short Biography

Founding member of ACT Wildlife. Have served as committee member, VP & President.

Primary driver of push for government funded wildlife vet, experienced carer, fundraiser, grant writer.

Why would you like to be a committee member?
  • a need for depth & breadth of experience in the committee
  • continue the work for a government funded vet
  • continue the work towards our long and short term goals as per strategic plan.
Dorothy Brown
Short biography

I have been a wildlife carer for the past 17 years. I have been a member of the ACTW committee since the inception in 2013.

I was the secretary of ACT Wildlife 2016- 2022/23

I continued as a committee member throughout 2023/24.

I am committed to the success of the organisation and its ability to continue rescuing and rehabilitating our local wildlife to be safely returned to their habitat.

I have a working knowledge of what is happening administratively within ACTW and am also committed to improving and updating our processes going forward.

I am currently the Office Manager at Jerrabomberra Wetlands office, supervising our employees and office operations.
I have been instrumental in obtaining a licence for and setting up both of our facilities at Jerrabomberra wetlands and 701 Cotter Road Duffy.

I enjoy working with everybody in the organisation. Problem solving, babysitting Possums, frog caring and working with our volunteers to get the best outcomes.

Why would you like to be a committee member?

I would like to continue as a committee member as I feel I have the history and ideas to continue working positively towards a better future for ACT wildlife.

Denise Kay
Short biography

Prior to joining ACT Wildlife on 1st November 2013 I was a bird carer for RSPCA for 2 years.

I am ACT Wildlife member number 5.

During my tenure at ACTW I have served on the committee , participated and organised fund raising events and established many contacts in the wildlife carer field.

In 2014 I began caring for Flying foxes and became Flying fox coordinator shortly after when Kirstie Hawkins moved to Townsville .During this time I established relationships with the NCA Parks and lake managers and many Flying fox groups around the country. Oversaw the creation of MOU with the NCA and helped create Extreme weather event protocols , maintaining Flying fox training co authoring the training module and manual. I stepped down from the position in 2022 . I am still a current carer for Flying foxes and birds

Why would you like to be on the committee?

I would like to re-establish my commitment to ACTW now I have more time.

I would like to encourage the committee to address the need for a stable permanent address.

ACTW is now well established within the ACT community and well placed to accommodate a permanent wildlife facility . This centralised facility should be Duffy with its expanse of readily available land to house various aviaries of different sizes and for different purposes. It has space for a wildlife veterinary clinic , office and wildlife training.

I would also like to reinvigorate the compliance obligations required by legislation and our licence to care . I would like to see an independent inspector perhaps with the cooperation of Licencing to do once a year check on carers ( by appointment of course ) so we as an organisation can be confident we are doing our best by ACT wildlife.

I would also like to see more support for carers by isolating the real carer from the membership database and supporting them with further training , equipment, medications, veterinary advice ( when we get a vet )

Marg Peachey

Short biography

Plenty of animal handling experience growing up on the land.

Pathology background, worked at Sydney University, Hawkesbury Uni of Western Sydney.

Education officer at RSPCA ACT for 2 years and Wildlife Manager for 8 years, setting up the wildlife section twice, 2000 and 2003 (after fires); managed 50 carers and volunteers and 6 staff members.

Developed teaching materials for RSPCA carers and trained all carers. Have taught some courses for other wildlife groups and participated in many wildlife courses around the country.

RSPCA stopped taking in wildlife so a few of the carers and myself set up ACT Wildlife. President and Vice President for 8 years. Held positions of training officer, bird coordinator and phone coordinator.

Taught for 6 years at CIT -developed teaching materials for two courses: Native Animal Rehabilitation and Bird Care.

Been caring for wildlife for 32 years, raised 3 children, I am a professional calligrapher, teaching calligraphy for over 10 years at Erindale night college and with the Canberra Calligraphy Society.

Why would you like to be a committee member?

I have been involved with ACT Wildlife since 2013 and before that with RSPCA Wildlife and The Wildlife Foundation

For the first 8 years I held the positions of President and Vice President. I am the bird coordinator and phone coordinator and would like to continue in those roles as well. I’ve previously held the position of training officer. I keep in touch with most volunteers on a regular basis.

Being able to play my part in preserving the biodiversity of the ACT has given me enormous satisfaction and it is becoming more and more important as the Canberra suburbs expand into valuable animal habitat. Every animal that is released is important, from the most common species to the endangered species.

I would like to see ACT Wildlife develop the block at Duffy to be more than a training area. To have a vet clinic and vet there, as well as more aviaries, yards and animal housing could lead to a sanctuary involving the Canberra public and volunteers. This expansion would help to take the load off already busy carers.